Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mobile device data growth is slowing down, fast!

According to this GigaOM article, recent data points to a rapid slowdown in mobile device data consumption growth, challenging the idea that the rapid data consumption growth will continue forever.

While this may be good news to wireless carriers, it does question whether there really is a spectrum crisis, and whether the wireless carriers really need all that future spectrum they have been demanding. This has been questioned in the past but this is one of the first time we have seen data that appear to confirm that the data growth may not be permanent or at least hitting a plateau at the moment.

The question is if coming traffic data reports will corroborate this slowdown or not. One possible piece of evidence that the spectrum crisis might be somewhat overblown is that many of the larger carriers in the US have deployed far from all the spectrum available to them already today. They are sitting on significant swaths of spectrum that are unused. One would think that they would try and put as much spectrum to immediate use as possible if they really thought that the strong growth would continue. 

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